Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has had an impressive career which famously began at Google, where she spent a decade and made a fortune.
Her unauthorized biography is detailed here, by Business Insider's Nicholas Carlson. In it, Carlson describes how a lucky keystroke helped Marissa Mayer land at Google, which was then a little-known startup.
When Mayer graduated from Stanford, she received more than 12 job offers. She wasn't interested in adding more opportunities to the pile. So when an email from a recruiter appeared in her inbox, she tried to delete it.
Luckily for Mayer, her finger missed the delete key and she ended up opening the pitch instead. The pitch promoted an opportunity at Google, a startup she had heard about through a Stanford professor.
Carlson describes the lucky incident: Instead of hitting delete, Mayer hit the space bar and opened the email. That email’s subject line: “Work at Google?”
Mayer read the email and remembered a conversation she had with Eric Roberts who was still a mentor years after she took his computer science class for non-majors. The prior fall, Roberts listened to Mayer talk about the recommendation engine she’d built, and then told her she should meet with a pair of Ph.D. students who were working on similar stuff. Their names: Sergey Brin and Larry Page.
Mayer realized that Google was their startup. Trusting Roberts' recommendation, she replied to an email she had meant to delete, writing that she’d like an interview.